Monday, September 21, 2009

Magical Fly Fishing for the Majestic Steelhead

In honor or Clay Sharp's recent return of boasting, I have added a book review that Andy Simon wrote when an ice storm stuck him at my place. Magical Fly Fishing for the Majestic Steelhead will really leave you with the question, "What did I just read and why?" If you want to learn how to catch steelhead like Clay, read some of Jim Teeny's books, after all that is how Clay is fishing. If you really want to learn how to swing flies for steelhead then read A Steelheaders Way by Lani Waller, A Passion for Steelhead by Dec Hogan or anything that Bill McMillian wrote. Clay still does not get it.

Book Review: Magical Fly Fishing for Majestic Steelhead
By Clay Sharp

I recently had the pleasure of reading a book that was entirely new to me. From the first glance at the title, I was pulled in and wanted more from page one. Magical Fly Fishing for Majestic Steelhead truly delivers. What it delivers however, I am still trying to figure out.

While spending some quality time at Steelie Mike's house with his dog and cats while he slaved away at work to pay for the next days fishing and my expensive bingo habit, I found one book that stood out from all the others. Magical Fly Fishing For Majestic Steelhead (MFFFMS for short) is attractively bound in a cover which I can only call a combo of dead hatchery kelt, sea foam, and crust. My excitement did not abate as I opened the front cover. Contained within these magical walls is a majestic mix of clever pros, powerful imagery, and caustic wit.

Clay Sharp started his fly fishing journey fishing the tailwater rivers of New Mexico. While he adds large trout are tough to find in these nutrient rich waters, he managed to catch a six and a half pound rainbow. Immediately after this astonishing feat of fly fishing prowess, Sharp adds to the aura of amazement by recalling his first steelhead fishing excursion. Many moons ago, Sharp was fishing a green-butted wolly worm, and with this simple tool took a very bright, above averaged size steelhead that took many runs into the backing. What’s more, he caught it on his VERY FIRST CAST EVER while steelhead fishing! Sharp adds that he managed to hook 4 and land 3 more bright, beautiful, magical steelhead that very afternoon. If this feat does not demand respect, I am not sure what does.

Breaking away from the run of the mill manuals of the day, Sharp takes a different approach to fly tying instruction. Instead of rambling on with mindless drivel about tying steps or fishing techniques, Sharp cuts right to the chase, informing you exactly how many steelhead he has caught with each fly presented in the book. After reading this section, I just had to sit down at the vise for a hot and steamy session producing each fly in the book, to catch thousands of bright, beautiful, magical steelhead myself. If you can look past the grammatical shortcomings and weak syntax, you will be left with a deep and passionate understanding of how many fish Sharp caught, from this section alone!

The heart and soul of MFFFMS does not lie in the amazing fly tying section however, it resides in the portion regarding how to find, land, and release dozens of steelhead each and every day. Once I find this section (3rd time through the book and still no luck) I will report back with great haste and a completed review.

This riveting work of erudite prowess ends in the best of ways. Sparing you once again from any boring thoughts on technique, Sharp displays his ability to take friends and kids out steelhead fishing and catch them limits every time. A true testament of raw skill, this book keeps you enthralled cover to cover, and burns quite well after a liberal soak in gasoline.

Andy Simon


bad fish said...

this book sounds majestically magical.

mike doughty said...

to fucking funny. sharp steelie is a tool!

Metalhead said...

Andy cracks me up. Clay is an arrogant prick, I hope I never have the displeasure of running into him on the water

Shane said...

Unfortunately I shelled out the $20plus for this(self published) epic a few years ago.
It might be noted that a few years ago Clay was found at the Sandy river Spey Clave carrying around a replica steelhead mount and hawking his book....uninvited of course.
I was emabarassed for the guy but shouldn't have been since he wasn't embarassed for himself.
Clay's legend is well known throughout the cyber fishing world of the internet.
The funniest thing Clay ever did was the posting of two pictures on Westfly of him and a kid holding steelhead. The pictures were supposed to be on different days but the clothing on both Clay and the kid was exactly the same as was the the spot where the picture was taken and the position of the sun...truly magical